Last updated: August 12, 2021

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If you like to cook and want to equip yourself with the right tools for the job, there are various utensils you need to create a dish. Among other things, you need a high-quality pan to prepare meat, sauces or vegetables.

A steel pan can be very suitable for this. The advantage of a steel pan is that you can fry the food to be cooked at a very high heat. Other pots or pans usually do not tolerate the rising heat; stainless steel is not very sensitive in this respect.

For this reason, we have compiled the most important facts and figures to make your search for the perfect steel pan for your favourite dish easier - as well as answering some questions that may arise before and after your purchase.




Summary

  • A steel pan is a useful household appliance, which is particularly suitable for the preparation of meat due to its even heat distribution.
  • When buying a steel pan, you should consider the material, weight and coating of the pan you choose. Steel pans are particularly scratch and puncture resistant.
  • A steel pan is easy to clean, but it should be allowed to cool completely before cleaning. One tip for cleaning is to use salt.

The best Steel Pan: Our Picks

To help you choose between the various steel pans on offer, we have listed below some examples of pan models that can help you make your choice.

Buying and evaluation criteria for steel pans

In order to make a decision about which pan may be best for you, it is helpful to look at some buying criteria that are necessary to consider. These are, for example, the following:

Material

When choosing a pan, there are different materials that influence the preparation of food. Pans made of copper and aluminium conduct heat best, but also react most strongly with food.

Cast iron pans store heat very well because of their mass. Copper pans with stainless steel linings are the best pans for even heat distribution and do not react with food.

Weight

When using a steel pan, handling also plays a role in cooking. In order to handle a pan, the weight of it, plays a decisive role.

The weight is of course influenced by the respective material. The weight of steel pans can range from 1.5 kg to 3.8 kg. This is important to consider if you want to buy such a pan.

Coating

Pans made of cast iron or wrought iron, as well as steel, are heavier but do not pose any health risks like pans made of other materials, which can be caused by the coatings.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about steel pans answered in detail

To help you with your pan purchase, we would like to answer the most important and most frequently asked questions below.

Who is a steel pan suitable for?

A steel pan is suitable for anyone who has a special preference for cooking. Since stainless steel pans can be heated to high temperatures, they are well suited for preparing steaks and roast potatoes.

Steak in einer Pfanne

A steel pan is particularly suitable for meat lovers, as the regular heat distribution ensures that the meat is cooked evenly from all sides. (Image source: pixabay/felix_w)

Pans with a high rim are also suitable for stirring sauces, flambéing, braising or steaming vegetables.

How do I bake a steel pan?

When a steel pan is baked, oil and heat are used to create a film on the surface of the iron pan.

This creates a non-stick layer which, although less non-stick than Teflon or ceramic, is much more durable. If the "patina", as the non-stick layer on iron pans is called, is damaged, the pan can be re-baked relatively easily. In this way, iron pans can be used for decades.

How do you clean a steel pan?

When cleaning iron pans, many people make the mistake of cleaning them with various cleaning agents. The problem is that acids and most other cleaning agents can destroy the natural non-stick properties of the pan and can even cause rust.

The pan should be cooled down well before cleaning.

A hot pan can suffer thermal shock under cold water. Therefore, the pan should be washed with hot water and a washing-up brush. Do not use any washing-up liquid. Furthermore, the pan should not be left to soak overnight.

Stubborn protein residues can also be removed with a simple trick. Dry the pan well and put it on the cooker. Add half a cup of salt and heat gently. The salt acts as a scouring agent. You can easily remove egg white residues with a paper towel. Be careful not to accidentally touch the hot pan with your hands.

Can a steel pan rust?

As the steel pan is made of an alloy of different metals, in which iron plays a dominant role, it can also rust. Depending on how bad the rust is, you have to proceed differently.

If the oxidation is only slightly reddish and the area is small, you can put cooking oil on a cloth and rub the rust away. For larger areas, you can remove rust thoroughly with steel wool. This will not damage your pan, as it only has a burnt-in "patina" (protective layer) and not a non-stick coating.

One tip is to clean the pan with warm water after each use. Do not use any cleaning agents. After drying, you can rub the pan with a bacon rind or cooking oil, so rust will have no chance in the future.

Conclusion

In summary, it can definitely be said that a steel pan is a very useful household appliance, especially for preparing meat, but also other foods. When choosing a pan, it is important to consider what you want to use the steel pan for.

We have also listed some examples of more specific pan models here. Furthermore, there are also various purchase criteria that you can use to decide which pan is best for you.

Especially the weight of such a pan can play a decisive role, as they can be very heavy due to the material. We hope you enjoy choosing and using your soon-to-be new steel pan.

(Cover photo: ponce_photography / pixabay)

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